The Megiddo Expedition
Principal Investigators: Israel Finkelstein, Matthew J. Adams, Mario Martin
Megiddo is the jewel in the crown of biblical archaeology. Strategically perched above the most important land route in the ancient Near East, the city dominated international traffic for over 6,000 years — from ca. 7,000 B.C.E. through to biblical times. As civilizations came and went, succeeding settlements at ancient Megiddo were built on the ruins of their predecessors, creating a multi-layered archaeological legacy that abounds in unparalleled treasures that include monumental temples, lavish palaces, mighty fortifications, and remarkably-engineered water systems.
Jezreel Valley Human Environments Project
Principal Investigator: Robert Homsher
This study investigates human-environmental dynamics in the Jezreel Valley and greater region during the Holocene and Anthropocene epochs, and relies on paleo-climate and -environment proxy data to do so. This research addresses the limitations of data and methods for environmental reconstruction, emphasizing the human scale of time and space, and reassessing environmental patterns based on comprehensive survey of existing data. New primary data are collected in conjunction with the JVRP Advanced Physical Survey and ongoing sediment core extraction, archaeological excavation, and laboratory analyses (e.g., geomorphology, sedimentology, geochemistry, palynology, isotope studies) in collaboration with several specialists. One of our primary objectives is collecting intensive data about geology, geomorphology, and modern land-use practices that complement our archaeological dataset, which includes material from the Middle Paleolithic through the twentieth century. Samples from this particular landscape will fill a lacuna in geographic distribution of present environmental data, as well as promote finer chronological sampling than typically undertaken for environmental reconstructions. Furthermore, the combined archaeological and environmental data are interpreted through theoretical approaches of social resilience, vulnerability, and diversity in relation to human ecology.
Geospatial Analysis of the Jezreel Valley
Principal Investigators: Robert Homsher, Adam Prins, Ryan Gardner-Cook
Using the latest techniques for geospatial documentation, this long-term initiative is deeply integrated into the overall project's workflow and methodological aims. This work integrates GIS with innovative methods for spatial data collection and analysis at the scale from survey and excavation to objects and archaeometry. Spatial datasets derive from Structure from Motion techniques (see Prins 2016, WPAT) in order to create precise, high resolution 3D models, orthophotos, and terrain models from aerial and terrestrial imagery. We strive for fully georeferenced data, for example, implementing real-time path vectorization during pedestrian survey and orthophoto-based plans in excavation. The resulting data from these methods form the basis for all our visual and spatial analysis, and have an incredible impact on the project's precision and efficiency in and out of the field.
The Jezreel Valley in the Early Bronze Age: A Lidar-informed Study of an Archaeological Landscape
Principal Investigator: Adam Prins - Durham University
This project applies LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to the study of the Early Bronze Age Jezreel Valley. Under the framework of landscape archaeology, this research will reconstruct the Early Bronze Age landscape and explore evidence of ancient settlement. It represents the most comprehensive application to date of this technology to the region.
Tel Megiddo East
The Early Bronze Age Settlement of Megiddo
Matthew J. Adams - W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
Robert Homsher - W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
Excavations by the Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition from 1992 to 2010 discovered the monumental Great Temple of the Early Bronze Age I. The massive 1100 sq. m. broad-room-style temple has proven to me themost monumental single edifice so far uncovered in the EB I Levant and ranks among the largest structures of its time in the Near East. The magnificent temple is now well-known but the larger urban landscape, the home of its builders, has never been explored. Since 2010, the JVRP has been excavating the site of Tel Megiddo East in an effort to elucidate the society responsible for the construction of the Great Temple.
Funerary Landscapes of the
Principal Investigator: Melissa S. Cradic
This project investigates funerary landscapes of the Jezreel Valley in order to construct a complete funerary history of the valley from the earliest known burials through the modern period. Special attention will be devoted to locating and examining burial sites that are not closely associated with tells or other major settlements. Where and how were communities burying their dead? What differences in burial practices can be identified from synchronic and diachronic perspectives? How do these locations and practices relate to wider contemporaneous and longue durée land-use patterns? The project's primary methodologies include: (1) pedestrian, aerial, and intensive survey; (2) archival research; and (3) GIS-aided spatial analysis. This long-term, multiscalar study will coincide with the JVRP's ongoing survey, excavation, and research projects.
Ancient Land-Use Management in the Jezreel Valley
Principal Investigator: Melissa S. Rosenzweig - University of Chicago
This environmental study is designed to provide information on the crop packages utilized by occupants of the Jezreel Valley across time and space, as well as generate information on the range of environmental mosaics that communities relied upon for their agrarian economies. Macro- and microbotanical material collected from JVRP excavations are analyzed for the presence of plant remains that index agricultural resources and practices. The diachronic transformations revealed by this study track human land-use management, environmental restoration and degradation, and the impact of socio-political dynamics on human-environment interactions.
Digital Archive Initiative
Principal Investigators: Matthew J. Adams, Jonathan David, and Margaret E. Cohen
The long-term goal of the Digital Archive Initiative of the JVRP is to support regional-scale historical and archaeological research by providing and maintaining a repository of data concerning the Jezreel Valley. This is the function of the left link-bar of this website. This project is currently undergoing a proof-of-concept phase in which we are experimenting with display, content, accessibility, and data storage. The entries which currently exist are meant to be samples.
Survey and Excavations near Tel Megiddo
A Village, a Military Camp and a City in the Legio Region
Tepper, Y. 2002. Lajjun – Legio in Israel: Results of a survey in and around the military camp area. In P. Freeman, J. Bennett, Z.T. Fiema, and B. Hoffmann, B., eds. Limes XVII: Proceedings of the XVIIIth International congress of Roman frontier studies, Amman, (September 2000). BAR International Series, 1084. Oxford: Archaeopress. Pp. 231-242.
Tepper Y. 2007. The Roman Legionary Camp at Legio, Israel: Results of an Archaeological Survey and Observations on the Roman Military Presence at the Site. In A.S. Lewin and P. Pellegrini, eds. The Late Roman Army in the Near East from Diocletian to the Arab Conquest. BAR International Series, 717. Oxford: Archaeopress. Pp. 57-71.
Principal Investigator: Yotam Tepper - The IAA & Tel Aviv University
Years of survey and excavation work have identified numerous archaeological sites in the greater Megiddo area, including several sites apparently connected to the Roman military presence in the Jezreel Valley. From 1998 to 2000 a survey was carried out on behalf of the Tel Aviv Department of Classical Studies and the Megiddo Expedition. As a result of this work identifications were proposed for the location of several ancient sites known from a variety of textual sources: the Jewish-Samaritan village of Kefar 'Othnay, the headquarters of the Roman Sixth Legion Ferrata, and the Roman-Byzantine city of Maximianopolis. Additional survey and excavation work has been carried out sporadically in the vicinity of Legio on behalf of the IAA. Building on these identifications, we are continuing to study the Roman army camp and the civilian settlements related to it. In December 2010 a portion of the Roman military camp was surveyed with Ground Penetrating Radar as part of the broader JVRP remote sensing project. Plans are afoot for excavations of this camp in future seasons.
Principal Investigator: Yotam Tepper - The IAA & Tel Aviv University
From 2003-2008, the investigator carried out excavations at large settlement of Kefar 'Othnay (Legio) on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. In the western part of the modern Megiddo Prison compound a large structure identified as a Christian prayer hall was exposed. The 3rd-century building contained a mosaic floor with 3 dedicatory inscriptions. One of these texts identifies the benefactor as a Roman centurion named Gaianus. This connection between a Roman army officer and Christianity in a prayer hall is an extraordinarily unique find. The discovery predates the imperial recognition of Christianity as a legal religion and therefore contributes to our understanding of Christianity during this early period. Additionally, the findings are important to the study of the Roman army in the eastern empire, and shed light on a Christian community alongside a mixed Jewish-Samaritan settlement.
Sacred and Profane Fauna at Early Bronze I Megiddo
Lidar Sapir-Hen, Tel Aviv University
Deirdre Fulton, Baylor University
Matthew J. Adams, W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
Israel Finkelstein, Tel Aviv University
This collaborative project between the Tel Aviv University Megiddo Expedition and the JVRP seeks to compare the sacrificial faunal assemblage from the Great Temple with the faunal assemblage from the adjacent settlement. (more coming soon)
The Early Bronze Age in the Jezreel Valley
Principal Investigator: Matthew J. Adams - W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research
This project focuses on the correlation of excavated Early Bronze Age stratigraphy at sites in the Jezreel Valley. Using the Tel Aviv University excavations at Tel Megiddo as the chronological anchor, this project seeks to correlate all stratigraphy from excavated Early Bronze Age sites in the Jezreel Valley.
in the Bible
Principal Investigator: Margaret E. Cohen - Pennsylvania State University
This project investigates the portrayal of the Jezreel Valley in the biblical text, and discusses both the image of the Valley as a defined geographical space as well as individual toponyms located within it. The development of the symbolic role that the terms "Jezreel" and "Jezreel Valley" acquire in the Latter Prophets is also explored.
JVRP Student Research Program
The JVRP Student Research Program is a research mentoring program for both undergraduate and graduate students. Student's propose their own research projects and are given access to the JVRP resources and data. The projects are guided by members of the JVRP Research Team, often in collaboration with an adviser from their home institution. Completed projects are reviewed by committee and, if accepted, published here on the website or in a print venue, including the JVRP's monograph series if appropriate. For a list of current research projects and information for submitting proposals, see our Student Research Program page.
Copyright Jezreel Valley Regional Project © 2017
All essays appearing on this website are authored by members of the JVRP.
Authorship credit is given where appropriate, as is credit for revisions and additions.
When citing from any of this material, please cite the credited authors
and note the date and time retrieved, as all content is subject to update and revision.
This site presents the ongoing research of the JVRP with regular updates and reports on the progress of our excavation programs and active research projects. The site is also a repository for the primary archaeological, historical, and other archival data on the valley.
Our goals for this site are as follows:
1. Presentation of our active archaeological, historical, and environmental studies.
2. Repository for the raw data produced by these projects.
3. Collection and presentation of all historical data relating to the valley.
4. Comprehensive dataset for use by our project collaborators and the public.
This dataset is continually updated as we excavate, discover, and process material from the valley. We are striving for a complete documentation of published and unpublished material. Please feel free to use the comment feature on most pages to point out gaps in our data, provide useful information, or ask questions.
About this site